Sunday, January 16, 2011
on loving one's own story
It's been incredibly rainy this weekend. Even for the Pacific Northwest. For the first time ever, I called the Oregonian and had them redeliver the Sunday paper. Even though the thing was double-bagged it was soaked through by daylight!
But, now that I've devoured the dry replacement, and tuned in to the playoffs to find Seattle getting anhialated by Chicago, and have administered an herbal remedy to my ailing child, I am finally at my desk. The Empress awaits. Or rather, her contemporary counterpart, Liz, whose storyline needs a little bit more of a kick in the ass.
I have to say, on re-reading the manuscript, I rather love Sisi and Liz. I love their quirkiness, their spunkiness, their views of the world. Sure, there are a few plot points that need a little extra tension, a bit more breadcrumbing with the diary and all, but on the whole, this book I've written is exactly the sort of book I sought when I was a bookish youngster. Novels that featured girls, at their most vulnerable ages, with the reality of adulthood around the corner--the expectations, the lack of control over one's body and mind. The hormones!
I have no idea if anyone will ever publish this thing, of course. There's no explosions, no ghosts, no vampires. The magic is a bit more complicated than typical YA, and I linger in certain aspects of character longer than many readers have patience for, but if you write a book, invest in characters, a story, a world, shouldn't your main audience be yourself? I ask this in all sincerity.
Would you write a book you wouldn't read if that book went on to be a bestseller? Or would you rather write the best possible book you could, that pleases you, and have it go nowhere? Well, which one would you choose?